Industrialism/Informatics Age

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This paper investigates, using five outlets, the different ways in which people make a living. Foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, family forestry, and industrialism or informatics are the five modes of subsistence studied in cultural anthropology. The Industrial Revolution and the Information Age are extensively explored in this paper as livelihoods and behavior conditioners of diverse peoples in the United States of America. In the years where revolutions happened, behavioral shifts have both positive and negative outcomes. Any changes have positively impacted living conditions. Similarly, unfavorable social shifts are predicted. Definitions of Key terms have been used to introduce the critical subject matters in each paragraph with evidence from relevant sources used. There is a conclusion that summarizes and emphasizes the essential points at the end. This essay, it is hoped, will give insight into how industrial/ informatics communities have contributed to human behavior.

Key Words: anthropology, technology, consumerism, informatics, industrialization.

Cultural Anthropology: Industrialism/Informatics Age

Cultural anthropology focuses on people and culture. Culture is considered to be behavior that is both learned and shared. At different levels, it informs the similarities and differences that exist, (Miller, 2015). Miller mentions five dominant ways of making a living: foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, family farming and industrialism/informatics, (Miller, 2015). In this essay, I will restrict myself to industrialism/ informatics and how it has affected American culture both positively and negatively.

The Industrial Revolution transformed many communities including in America. It occurred from 1750 to 1800, (Carlisle, 2009). In the industrial societies, factories and machines indicated progress achieved. Communities in the US have benefitted from advanced technological advances and therefore live healthier and longer lives as a result of adopting better lifestyles and having access to superior medical care, (Buer, 2013). Also, individuality has increased whereby the urge is to achieve the highest success and private property. Gender and economic inequality have been substantially lowered in industrial societies with parity almost achieved. The ability of individuals to move from poverty to wealth shows opportunity due to industrialization, (Miller, 2015). Such transformation has proved essential to realizing better societies.

The challenges associated with industries significantly affect culture. The growth of large cities has led to increased poverty and undignified conditions. Low income and minority communities like Indian and African Americans in places like Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama have been affected the most, (Taylor, 2014).Societies have also become impersonal with people having ‘…the most passing acquaintance with their neighbors, (Carlisle, 2009). Riots have led to the modernization of the police force and improvement of working conditions at the factories. The need to power industries has seen consumerism take root with resources from other parts of the world grabbed to power industries. Pollution is now a big challenge and the need for power, in particular, military strength has pushed the US to have nuclear weapons that are dangerous to itself and the entire world.

The information technology age on its part competes with machines to run the economy. The cause for this is because there are more service jobs today as compared to the past. The informatics age has shaped society by replacing machines and manufacturing jobs as the primary drivers of the economy, (Miller, 2015). Characterized by wireless devices such as laptops, cell phones, and the emergence of software companies, the new culture represents the future. Communities around New York, Philadelphia, and Boston have concentrations of electronic and software firms and good universities like Stanford. Overall, culture has benefitted because such workers are better educated and can work at home, at the office or even on the road, (Carrier, 2012). Technology, therefore, is critical in a modern, dynamic world.

On the other side, the informatics age has seen increased unemployment since many people in this culture do not have the requisite skills needed in this sector. The result is that many companies have shifted their manufacturing from America to overseas nations. As a result, there is the fear that the disparity between the rich and the poor will expand as those who lack education will have challenges securing gainful employment.

In conclusion, there is a definite relationship between how people live and how they behave. The industrial/information age has various positive and negative changes. Human behavior, therefore, must change and develop with the times to survive.


Buer, M. C. (2013). Health, Wealth and Population in the Early Days of the Industrial Revolution. Routledge.

Carlisle, R. (2009). Handbook to Life in America (p. 17). New York, NY: Infobase Publishing.

Carrier, J. (2012). A Handbook of Economic Anthropology (p. 33). Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Miller, B. (2015). Cultural Anthropology (8th ed.). New York: Pearson.

Taylor, D. (2014). Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility (p. 3-18). New York: NYU Press.

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